Comment: AMEN

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This message is key.

'Inflammatory' arguments are counterproductive.

This applies to face to face conversations as well as on-line message boards.

Respectful communication is effective at changing minds about the issues as well as in changing popular attitudes about RP supporters.

Remaining calm, even while being treated by others with anger, REALLY gives you the moral and intellectual high ground in conversations.

Choose your battles; listen to ignorant claims and smears in a patient way, maybe with a smile on your face. Boom: you're calm and your mind is still working properly, less stress hormone coursing through your brain... suddenly you're the one speaking intelligently and confidently and you now have the greatest leverage in the conversation.

The goal is to educate others about political issues EFFECTIVELY. Doing so requires respect in discourse. Staying calm will go a long way to restoring the RP image as one that embodies civility, respect, and a desire to do good. Just try not to get bogged down in heated arguments - it's destructive. Building rapport with your opponent while introducing ideas in a digestible way is highly constructive. By remaining calm and firm, we will at least be able to reach a wider audience. That is the only way we ever have.

adam t